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The Tokyo District Court ruled Monday that the metropolitan government’s decision to order the Global-Dining Inc. restaurant chain to reduce its business hours last year due to the coronavirus pandemic was “illegal,” in the first such ruling on COVID-19 measures imposed by the central and local governments.

Presiding Judge Norihiro Matsuda said that the order did not constitute the necessary conditions stipulated in coronavirus legislation that allow authorities to fine businesses for refusing to cooperate with orders to shorten their hours or shut down for a designated period during COVID-19 states of emergency.

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